Deadly DVD Machines, unhappy robots, the end of the world, and More! Catch It September 8th, 2021

Welcome to Catch it at the Comic Shop, where the Panel Patter team looks at what's coming out at your favorite store or digital device this week. Each one of us that participates picks up to five items due out this week, with a little bit about why we like them. (NOTE: We use solicitation material for this, so if we miss creators, please talk to your publisher!) Sometimes we might only have a few items to share, other weeks, keeping it to five will make for hard choices. Here's what the team wanted to highlight this week...

Deadbox #1 by Mark Russell, Ben Tiesma, Vladimir Popov, and Andworld Design, published by Vault Comics

If Mark Russell is writing a comic, I am *going* to check it out. He's got a great track record of writing fascinating comedic series full of sharp social satire. So, I'm excited for Deadbox because it seems like a change of pace. I'm sure it will be full of smart observations, but this seems like more of a horror story and I'm thrilled to see him play in that genre. The idea of a cursed DVD machine seems like a great one, and I'm thrilled to check this out. I'm not as familiar with Ben Tiesma's work, but what I've seen from him so far looks terrific. Providing vibrant colors to suit this eerie tale is the excellent Vladimir Popov, and letters are by the always great Andworld Design. 

Not All Robots #2 by Mark Russell and Mike Deodato, Jr., published by AWA/Upshot Studios

Mark Russell is clearly thinking about technology a lot these days. This is his second comic this week to wrestle with the idea of scary technology. I really enjoyed the first issue of this dark social satire, set in a world where robots have basically taken over most work, and humans are dependent on them but also afraid and resentful of them, and the feeling is mutual. The first isue of this comic had some funny moments but it was a pretty dark story, with unhappy robots with possible murderous impulses. It's also a world where robot police appear to be no less corrupt than their human counterparts. Mike Deodato is a terrific artist, usually known for his superhero work. But his action-oriented, dramatic work brings a level of seriousness to the story. This is a very strong book.

Mazebook #1 by Jeff Lemire, published by Dark Horse

A creator-owned Jeff Lemire book that's written *and* drawn by Lemire? You know I's going to check that out. This book is right in Lemire's wheelhouse, in the intersection of where personal tragedy meets the supernatural and the nature of reality. This story concerns a father mourning his daughter who loved puzzles. He believes that she has reached out to him from inside a labyrinth, and he is going to rescue her. This seems like a fantastic premise, using mazes and puzzles as a way for the father to work through his grief. I love when Lemire writes and draws his own work, as he has produced some incredible stories (Essex County, Sweet Tooth, The Underwater Welder, Trillium, many others) and this one sounds very promising.

The Unbelievable Unteens (From the World of Black Hammer) #2 by Jeff Lemire and Tyler Crook, published by Dark Horse

Speaking of Jeff Lemire, he's also created a really fascinating universe in the Black Hammer Stories. Unbelievable Unteens is the newest addition to that world, and I absolutely loved the first issue. There's a writer of superhero comic who learns that the fictional comics she has been writing are in fact true stories about herself and others! She was one of the Unbelievable Unteens. The first issue was a blast, and was brought to life by the spectacular Tyler Crook, who also did incredible work on the Colonel Weird miniseries. I've loved virtually everything about the world of Black Hammer, and this one has been no exception. This is a very fun read.  

The Nice House on the Lake #4 by James Tynion IV and Alvaro Martinez Bueno, published by DC Comics
This is one of my favorite comics of the year. It's so weird and it's not at all what I was expecting. Let's just say it will subvert your expectations as well. This is creepy and weird and existential, and full of incredible twists and turns. Tynion is doing great work right now, and the art here from Alvaro Martinez Bueno is just fantastic. If you're looking for weird, unsettling, scary stuff that subverts expectations, you should definitely be picking this up.